Dear ASPnet community, 

Warm greetings from myself and ASPnet team!

For this issue of the newsletter I would like to deliver our special message myself to talk to you about transformative education as the transversal approach we have been exploring together recently to address our three priority thematic areas, which are : Global Citizenship Education, Education for Sustainable Development and Intercultural Learning and the Appreciation of Cultural Diversity and Heritage. 

What is transformative education and how do we as ASPnet address it in our work? 

Transformative education calls for rethinking what we learn, where we learn and how we learn. This education does not override the long-established tradition of receiving or giving systematic instruction, but it goes further than that and it adds an extra – more demanding – layer. It focuses on encouraging learners to think of themselves as agents of change and part of community, society and nature; for that, teachers need to experience this transformation in order to facilitate these processes with learners. Transformative Education is not an add-on to what we have been doing so far, transformative education is Quality Education!

Let me cite just a few examples:

Our Futures of Education focus groups in which so many of you participated, clearly showed how taking a transformative education approach results in great dialogue and ideas. The three core themes that emerged from discussions are: education beyond the classroom; people-driven learning; and social and emotional well-being. Importantly, a large portion of focus groups noted that effective learning should be based on experience; and appreciate extra-curricular activities. They also highlighted that students should play a central role in the learning process.

Under the activities of the Change Initiative, our Community of Practice in Teacher Education recently met at the Global meeting for the theme:  “Transformative Education – Fostering Global Citizens for Sustainable Development”. Under this overarching goal we looked at a transformative education approach at Teacher education institutions and demonstrated how this approach is implicated in all aspects of teaching and learning, including GCED, ESD, the whole school approach, as well as teaching and learning about living heritage. The highlight of this meeting was the endorsement of the “Joint Invitation” Document, ” which outlines the shared vision, aspirations, commitments and recommendations by and for ASPnet TEIs and beyond. 

Intercultural Learning and the Appreciation of Cultural Diversity and Heritage, the third of our thematic priorities is part of who we are as ASPnet, and we live it everyday through our exchanges and actions as a global network. 

Your contributions, initiatives, projects and artworks show how learning through the arts and living heritage are addressing topics related to all 3 action areas.  They are inspiring examples on how to put transformative education into practice! 

From September 2021, we are mobilising our ASPnet network to participate in 2 main activities to advance transformative education. We are inviting teachers from primary schools in Africa to register for an online course in GCED to be offered over a six-week period. We will also host a virtual ASPnet student forum co-hosted by the International Centre for ASPnet to reflect on how transformative education can lead to taking action for the people and the planet. We look forward to a fruitful engagement with you in these coming events.

We call upon you to realise this vision and implement these actions in your schools and communities for a truly transformative experience!

Let’s move forward together and stay CONNECted!